Of Rumours and Lies . . .
“Now, everything is based on Rumours”, my friend said looking at me shiftily.
I had a gush of instinct that this statement was meant to be provocative. I kept silent.
“Rumours are spread by gossip mongers, and mischief makers” my friend continued.
“Rumours are meant to foment hatred, divide society, and break the monolithic structure of an organized society. It is propaganda of fears and lies”.
I still remained silent. In today’s war mongering world, I decided that silence, the golden rule was the better part of valour.
“Look at the ways rumours rule the roost. They are a weapon for falsehood and chicanery”. I finally broke the tepid silence.
“Are rumours lies?” I asked.
“Of course” my friend replied.
“They are lies, and nothing but lies”.
“So there can be no basis to rumours?” I asked.
“Yes there can be”, my friend continued hesitantly.
“But normally rumours and lies go together”.
“And are lies, rumours?” I asked with a note of triumph in my voice, and with a mischievous glint in my eye.
“Now, stop quizzing me” he said with a rasping voice.
“Rumours can be spread maliciously by individuals and groups”.
“So how do we tackle them?” I asked.
“Firstly one has to fix the blame, preferably on a country”.
“Why, a country?” I asked.
“Because, my friend, rumour is organized crime”. “Secondly” he continued. “You have to ban SMS, MMS, text chat, voice chat”.
“What about ordinary chat?” I asked.
“Well you have to ban that as well”.
“Then there is no end to it” I sighed.
“No” he said. “You have to expunge and censor radio broadcasts and telecasts as well”.
“And after that, what do you do?” I asked.
“Well after that you ban websites”.
“And after that?”
“And after that you officially announce on radio and television that things are under control, after you have controlled the media . . .”
By now my head was spinning, inventing - Rumours.
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Ananya S Guha
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